Day 10

Sunday, 5/15/2016

I am a little behind on my blogging and after posting a day late yesterday, it’s amazing how things begin to blend together.

I told Al – I am having trouble recalling – things are running together and we laughed because he reminded me that most of yesterday was a day we both want to forget.

So…..I am committed to the good…the bad…and the ugly.

We packed up from our one of a kind tree-cave-tent experience, my personnel mountain top. And soon began what we believed to be a special remote old road/hwy ???. Suggested by our very favored Butler motorcycle maps. (which they did state it was a rough road….in places)
So as we left our camp area, The Avenue of the Giants (mammoth Red Woods) and began on an adventure ride I now refer to as ‘The Avenue of the Pot Holes.’

3 VERY long hours of dodging HUGE pot holes, because there seemed to be no escaping off this beaten path. We maneuvered swiveled and swaggled for what seemed an eternity.
If you heard our intercom conversation it went from good natured bantering to me saying – how long is this road. My body can’t take much more. My new tires are going to be worn out. My -#*#*# is going to be worn out. My clutch and throttle hand is worn out. These bikes aren’t made for off road. How much further. You can only miss so many pot holes.
And Al just kept saying – I know. I agree.
There was some beautiful scenery. We did stop and take some pictures. Though we were both in frustration that there was no road leading us out of this endless abuse. Finally we came out into a quaint little township of Ferndale, CA. a small village with buildings and homes showing old history. We rolled into Main Street and here came a very small slow moving parade; some sort of celebration, what appeared to be a sober event (I felt like joining them) down the middle of town.    🙂

Having left our camp site with out breakfast, it was now noon. We parked our bikes and began scoping for downtown eateries. Went into one that boasted of a bakery along with good eats. I was excited and we were sitting down just as Al began reading a chalked menu, this is all vegan he said – Uh no.
I read a sign also that said – ‘All hippy’s enter in the back entrance, no exceptions’ – Everyone in there looked hippy.
We may have been the only ones who came in the front door.
We left and found another joint down the street that also was more than a little different, so we both safely ordered BLTs and spoke of great expectations for deserts later on down the road.
Fueled up as we left Ferndale.

I was obsessing over finding the drive-through tree and was still holding a grudge on The Avenue of the Pot Holes, waisted time.

Al, forever my knight in shining Armor was guiding us closer to that destination when we came upon what I now call the fake drive through tree. Al took a picture of me trying to get through it and at an awkward up hill corner coming out of it we both laughed and agreed – it was an imposter and it took $8 of our money too. We drove away saying that it most certainly was not the same tree we visited over 25 years ago.

So down the road we went navigating to the real ‘Chandelier’ Tree’ as it is called.

On our way there traffic came to an abrupt halt due to road repairs, so for an hour of very slow staggering traffic and impending heat we clutched, braked and stopped and throttled repeatedly over and over as we grew hotter and hotter; when you are on a motorcycle; the clutch, throttle, hand brake and the heat can all cause fatigue. The sun was beating down on us, we were both laughing and talking about our day as we stopped our bikes under shade for comfort and let the cars move forward for awhile and then move up to them into the next set of tree shades. Cars behind us seemed to understand as we began taking our coats off layer at time because the day started off cold. We were stopping and putting our kick stands down and putting stuff in our saddle bags, rearranging. Al even had his outer winter/rain pants on, and I encourage him to take them off and throw them behind my back. So we were doing a strip down shuffle in the middle of very slow moving traffic.

The real drive-through tree is called, ‘Chandelier tree’. Al and I and our daughters were there at it when we took a very long family vacation all those many years ago, although we were way too early on that morning, so we resorted to climbing over the chain because even years back…we were determined to see that special drive through tree. We have our old family pictures of it where we were the only ones there. Family fun vacation memories.

I had seen a picture post card of it as small child, a neighbor showed me. I looked at it over and over in unbelief.

When we finally broke free from the traffic slug movements we were not far from the tree entrance. I told the national park guy there- do you know there is an imposter drive through tree. He laughed and said yes we hear that a lot.

Well that imposter tree cost more than the real deal here too.

Been there done that got the picture. All is good.

We pulled on out and headed to Hwy 1 towards Fort Bragg and what a ride that was.

Here’s the deal – I LOVE curves, twisties and corners, can’t get enough of them, my bike loves them, and Al always gives me lead in them. Sorry but that’s the truth. And this hwy 1 is like WOW.

I throttle up heading in, shift down before hard corners roll on the throttle lean hard down, scrape peg metal (sometimes). Upright her, throttle roll back and get ready to throttle roll up and repeat rapidly into the next. My favorite is throwing back and forth of opposite corner action. GAME ON. I simply love that challenge and Al is fast behind.

I began in the hills of the ozarks in my teens when my Dad says I went through 7 sets of crash bars from grinding the bottoms that torked the tops and broke where my dad would tape them together. After he grew tired of this scenario he got a pipe and connected it high up and we called that my crash bar as it was a law to have one. And now I could get my lean on way back then as a young teenage girl.

Al fortunately indulges me as I pursue my passion for corners. And we both go hard, fast and furious with controlled experience not superseding beyond our skill levels.

Truth folks, knowing as we do the number one killer of motorcyclist is corner riding of the inexperienced as we carefully and respectfully indulge.

We have discovered the laws here are for slower vehicles to use the frequent pull outs on this hwy and they do it very obligingly.

That particular part of the road into Fort Bragg after leaving the drive through tree was GREAT.
As we maneuvered through all its great corners we both conversed back and forth – me in the lead saying: tight – really tight – gravel – sharp tight – road kill – gravel – WOW – I LOVE THIS.
And when Al leads, he does the same.

We LOVE to ride together in our life journey.

We pulled into Fort Brag coastal town, bone tired and hungry. Fueled up. We agreed to a motel for the night. Found a Denny’s, ate while we price checked lodging.
Checked in……and our bodies were maxed out. I thought my hands would not recover they hurt and Al’s did too. Exhausted beyond repair. I lost my usual great optimism. I can’t blog tonight, maybe never again. I moaned and groaned till I fell asleep thinking my body WILL NOT recover.

Next morning fresh and new – ALL GOOD and we hit the Coastal corners again just as before.

The ocean view’s are simply beyond words. Breath-taking beautiful weaving around each giant cliff, looking down below at a wild crashing and waving ocean, with mighty ocean stone sculptures protruding along the thrashing churning ocean waters, vision after vision of kaleidoscope variations. And then we go low into the beach area as we roll on by on our motorcycling IMAX adventures.

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Day 9 – The California Giant Mammoth Red Woods

Saturday, 5/14/2016

The California Giant Mammoth Red Woods

http://humboldtredwoods.org/

My road weary body felt like dead weight in the bed this morning. Just as well because we were waiting out the rain in the area of our destination.

We took our bikes to a local car wash as they were a nasty road warrior mess, both of them. And then we came back and loaded up from our hotel.

We did not have far to go. The Giant Red Woods were priority today for the agenda. Our constant conversation is – WOW,
Look at that, incredible ! Over and over we exclaim on our intercoms.

Our goal was to camp in the middle of these mammoth, monster beast of the Giant Red woods. When we pulled into the National camp site in the middle of it all, the Forrest Ranger said drive through and pick 1st choice and a 2nd choice. Then come and back and claim it. Many were reserved, as we maneuvered our bikes around the remote choice park of these giants towering high into the skies.

The one we chose was a tent site with a HUGE massive set of trees together that formed a hole inside of themselves.
I, of course insisted we put our tent inside it. Al being the straight arrow guy he is said we would have to ask. So he went to ask and when he came back he said, the ranger said that was his favorite site and that he always saved it for his friends and YES we could put our tent inside the tree cave.

I was giddy over the moon and laughing at the thought of us sleeping in our tent inside a Giant Red wood cave. If I were a 5 year old I would have been jumping up and down with excitement

I am thanking the Lord continuously for the special blessings of this journey every day.

Presently I am laying inside our tent in our special domain for the night with a little ceiling light scripting the joys of our journey, tucked very cozily in the fluffiest queen size sleeping bag you could imagine – on top of an air mattress.

When all this camping stuff was in the plans for this trip, I was on board but did not consider my self a tent-camper -eager individual.
I LOVE it.
Al ordered from Amazon very carefully and considerately for my comfort, the equipment necessary. I have slep like a baby and the camp sites so far have been beyond what I could have ever imagined.

l won’t be able to post this until tomorrow because once again we are off the grid.

And the pictures are a promise of impressiveness.

Wilderness Motorcycle chronicles filled to the brim with tales of Happy Trails.

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Day 8 Cross Country Adventures

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Day 8
Friday, 5/13/2016

We left our camp site around 7:30am to enter into a northern Oregon coastal misty fog in the mid 50s with the moisture making it seem much colder. After driving in it for a few hours we both agreed we needed a hotel for this evening.

The coastal views off of the cliffs looking out to sea and the monstrous rock formations lifting up out of the waves of ocean water was yet a spectacular view as we rolled high and low from cliff to cliff of the coastal highway.

We stopped periodically to explore and take a few pictures.

When we pulled off to get our California state line pictures, we laughed as we ran across the busy highway to get a picture of us under the opposing Oregon sign, as we lost that photo opportunity when we entered Oregon in the middle of a bridge.

Oh yeah……..we went across the highest bridge in Oregon today and…..oh my yes, it was HIGH. Thomas Creek Bridge, 345 feet high.

The fog lifted for just a little while before we left Oregon and entered into California where the Red woods definitely marked its territory right away, like all of a sudden, boom….up they shot bigger and taller. And the smell also permeated the air.

We pulled into our hotel in the town of Crescent City, CA. around 4:30pm.
Gathered our laundry, happy that the hotel had a coin operated laundry room, threw our laundry in and mounted up to go eat us some dinner.

For those who have ask and had concern of my sprained knee. It is doing great. I am having no problems with it. I quit wearing the brace a few days ago. Still thankful for all the prayers to launch us on our great adventure.

 

I forgot to post my trip odometer last post so here it is and also today’s

Yeah, we are stopping to smell the ocean breezes and not as many miles down the road as when we were in pursuit of getting here.

Crazy thing, Al’s odometer is registering around 100 miles more ??????

🙂

 

This 1st picture is our pack up. And we’re are both as a team, high proformance on breakdown, pack up and get on the road.

The second picture is what we have always collected on our journey’s together; a deck of cards from every great tourism point of interest worth a deck of cards. Crater Lake made the cut.

Another slide presentation – remember give it a few seconds to load.

 

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Love and miss you all very much.

Happy Trails to YOU !

Day 7 – Finely the Pacific Coast

Thursday, 5/12/2016

We left our camp this morning and had breakfast down the road a ways in the town of Roseburg, OR.

Drove through a lot of Lumber-Jack land today.

Made a rest stop for sweet treats at a DQ, with not far from our 1st ocean view.

We finally arrived into Newport, OR., where we will begin our coastal pacific route 1 journey tomorrow.

Soaked up our 1st veiw of the Pacific Ocean after having ridden many miles to get here. And then ate sea food by the sea shore.

Camp site by the Ocean and a good nights sleep.

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Rolled into Newport, OR around 4pm

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Our sea side sea food lunch view

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And that’s what it takes to get us here

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Day 6 – Oregon Happy Trails

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Wednesday 5/11/2016

Crater Lake was 1st on our agenda.
The ride getting there; a two lane with very tall Pines hovering over both sides of the road. And then as we gained altitude there were 15 foot walls of snow on each side.
On top of Crater lake the ranger information/visitor/rest area and gift shop said – they get 44 feet of snow just about every winter.

And then we went to chase down several water falls in the area. All the while we hung onto some nice curves for riding. Listening to Adele – rolling in the deep, band Chicago, on my play list piped in with that elusive blue tooth tech to my motorcycle speakers, mountain cliffs and rivers beside us.

While we were very impressed with the tall pines here, we will soon be deep into the
mammoth Red Woods.

I believe Al particularly enjoyed today’s riding as the terrain is so much like Vancouver Island, British Columbia where he spent 3 summer from the age of 10 through to 12 years old, with his Grandparents and his Uncle Howard. Six weeks every summer in the town area of Combs. This Uncle had bought up a lot of land and on his ranch he has raised and sold registered Morgan Horses for many years. The lands that Al explored in those years and that experience as a kid give him great memories.

His Uncle Howard still lives there in Combs, he is in his late 90s in age, a man that never married, he had been a bush pilot and engineer mine surveyor in Alaska. Al and I visited him last when he was 93 and that was, I think 7 years ago. There in his home living area were mounted large elk and deer heads. He was out working his horses even then. There were small signs of him slipping of course. But his mind was sharp as he told us mine stories and bush pilot stories. Times of being in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and fighting and killing bears at their camp compound. He said they were horribly hungry menaces intruding and thieving for food constantly. As he showed us his mining hat and premative lighting cave tools for mineral investigations, I thought we need to record these conversations. He had an engineering degree in mining and he told of the rough ways of travel in the 50s to get to the places in Alaska and do his work. So fascinating.
Maybe that’s why Al’s bucket list motorcycle trip is Alaska.

Al would have liked to have done some hiking today. Although as I script this he is climbing up to the top of a 270 foot water fall. I am playing it safe with my bum knee, sitting on a giant log that is across a very loud moving rush of waters from the top of the falls.
He will be awhile and I am enjoying the nature just sitting here.

And OH – he scared me just then. Walked up on me and I did not hear him. Seriously.

There are some very rough roads here as they do what’s called chip and seal. One of the men at the bike shop said the roads are hard on tires also because people drive with studded tires all winter on the roads. That also contributes to wearing down tires. He suggested riding middle of lane. We just try to stay on the smoothest parts of each road.

Because of riding off to remote area the closest thing to lunch and dinner for the whole day was a very small station that seemed to provide food for campers. Al chose a small Frozen Piza, as they had a kitchen area in this little store for heating in a micro wave and also a radar type oven that Al heated his Pizza in. I got a packaged sandwich and we found a macaroni salad in a container from their frig. Also what looked like home made chocolate chip cookies and then I saw chocolate Zingers. I loves those Zingers. We sat out front by a carved wooden bear and ate our scavenger food, while we discussed – What Next ? – find us a camp site.

We are off the grid tonight staying in – Hotel TeePee, down by the river. 🙂
Our 1st night in a camp ground. We are laying here in the darkness of our tent right beside a rushing river over mosey rocks called North Umpqua and the sound is the real deal – God’s own lullaby white noise.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I won’t be able to post this until we find connection to do so tomorrow.

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Day 4 – Mountain Home, Idaho

Monday, 5/9/2016

From Just out side of Price, Utah and now Mountain Home, Idaho

This morning we took to the interstate, not always a top choice. We much prefer good motorcycle roads of older two lane highways. But we needed to make some time today after lolly-gagging with some great riding in Colorado Grand Junction area yesterday.

The 127 miles to Salt Lake City, Utah on the interstate was above and beyond impressive with Mountainous majesty. Sky high in the distance and also surrounding us closely; three different kinds of mountains hugged the interstate for miles and miles with their brilliant presence.

1st were the flat top towering sculptured looking.
2nd large snow peeked in the cloud.
And
3rd massive green mountain like hills and some of those had sheep all over them on both sides of us grazing 100s and 100s of sheep.

There is no way to fully describe the beauties of the Utah mountains. No time to stop and take a lot of pictures today. But our minds eyes are blessed with great memories.

I was mindfully present and totally consumed in amazement; as mountains hold an extreme fascination for me. Al and I have ridden the Smokies and the Blue Ridge repeatedly. And a couple years ago in the Breckinridge, Colorado area and then last year all around Santa Fe, New Mexico area mountains.

We have always favored the Smokies for riding. But this trip has opened my mind to the fact that God is very inventive at creating diversity. So today WOW just WOW !

Our God is AWESOME ! And I believe he delights in delighting his children.

I have a wandering heart longing to see it all. I can not even imagine all this world has to offer for our eyes to take in and no one person could ever possibly see it all. Although I know with Great certainty that what is waiting for us in heaven along with our waiting Father; our earthly humanly heart’s simple could not hold the delights of scenic adventure and beauty in God’s heavenly realms.

Meanwhile as Al and I voyage on our motorcycles across the west here – God Smiles !

And now for the second leg of today’s journey – UGH
Because not long after entering into Idaho, along come the flat lands, tumble weeds and strong winds, I mean STRONG winds.

Al became the tumble weed terminater with me following close behind catching the sticks and twigs he sent flying.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike flat land winds. Every time we stopped for gas, people remarked on how hard the riding must be.

We made a much needed DQ stop and got the 4 for five lunch deal which included a mini Sundae too. Armed with renewed energy we mounted up and got back into the perpetual wind battle.

We rode at a cross wind angle (bikes leaning into the constant pressure) that was more steady than the hard surprise gust of pan handle Oklahoma or the Colorado plains.

We survived and now it’s 8:30pm here in Idaho. We are sitting in a laundry mat doing our laundry.

Laundry done – and for now goodnight  and Happy trails to YOU !

 

Day 3 – A day of really GREAT Riding

 

Sunday, 5/8/2016image

 

Memaw and Papaw mastering the art of a selfie stick; day 1 and we WILL improve.

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We are in a small motel with a small cafe at a small town in Utah, after traveling in rain for the last couple hours of this day we fall short of 127 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah.

This morning we began our journey from Montrose, CO to the top of Grand Mesa an incredible ride with beautiful scenery that turned beastly on us when we peaked at the table of higher temperatures with once again snow today that had a bite to it.
Al – OUCH, what was that?
Me – it’s snow like hail. Let’s just call it snail. It’s snailing on us. (Our intercom conversation)
Next we were driving with low visibility on a slushy snow surface with big walls of snow drifts on either side of us. But yet beautiful scenery as we drove VERY carefully.

And then later another really extra beautiful red rock canyon drive, with me repeating over and over how much I loved the great curves and twist with 360 beauty all around us driving the depth of a gorgeous river cannon with sunshine and warmth. Words simply cannot express our enjoyment of this whole day as we road into Grand Junction and feasted on Wendy’s hamburgers, fries, frosty and soda.

Next we went on what I would call the opposite of the previous ride, in that we went from high on a table mountain ride and then rode low the bottom of a canyon drive, now we were headed to the near by Colorado National Monument, that my brother Curt S. suggestion. And thank you very much baby brother. WOW – what made this ride very significantly unique is that you are literally riding on the crest of this very large canyon edge through tunnels and really great curves. If I had not been acutely aware of my heavy packed luggage behind me, I would have not been able to resist the curve challenge, even with our luggage Al and I of course took to it as edgy as we knew to be safe and yet thrilled in every mile of indulgence.

Then we headed down I-70 towards Salt Lake City. I told Al it seemed to me this interstate with 80 miles per hour speed limit in actuality was like a US audubon. Very rapid moving traffic no slackers on this interstate. And yes we indulged on that too. I kept wondering if Al had sent our daughters a Gylmpse, this is the app our daughters like to use so they can see where we are. It shows us on a map of exactly where we are and ……..how fast we are going. A fast moving dot with the mileage per hour on it’s back. And yes we have received reprimands from our daughter Laurie.

And then the rains came and came and came; that slowed us down along with the fact that gas stations were no where to be found and my tank was dwindling to the point that we were now going 50 mph to preserve my fuel situation and also my intercom battery failed at the same time my fuel light started blinking and then in the rainy mist there appeared a station. All is well that ends well.

And here we stopped for the night.

Day 2 – Guymon, OK to Montrose, CO

Saturday, 5/7/2016

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Pool closed – we didn’t want to swim anyway

 

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2nd day

We left Guyman, OK. hoping to leave the flat prairie lands and constant winds behind making our way on into Colorado, but nope, we battled cross winds more than half the day. Very strong cross winds.

At one point I watched Al’s bike in front of me move several feet accross the lane at such a lean he seemed to lacked just inches of scraping pegs. And then the same gust would hit me. I hung back bracing for my turn, leaning in against the gusts just seconds behind. It seemed endless. When it’s just a couple hours, no sweat. We spent over 5 hours pushing against the prairies winds.

The semi-trucks coming from the opposite direction on this two lane repeatedly blasted my left foot off my mini boards (foot rest). Al could here me Yelp in his ear (intercom) each time so he began to warn me when a truck was coming. We will just call this the battle of the plains.

We took a well earned lunch break in a small town diner where a very friendly little ole gentleman/owner went table to table spreading great conversation and joy, he was very obviously a lover of people and life.

Not far past Pueblo the terrain began to change into canyons and mountains.

I had my playlist tunes playing volume up loudly through my stereo as we glide with curves and twist beside a rapid moving river – ‘ I finally found my hallaleluja’ , ‘good good good good good to be alive right about now’, and ‘I’m all about that base , no treble’, singing in Into my husbands inercommed ear, poor guy.

My tank was showing less than a quarter tank. Al’s tank holds a little more than mine. Ironically when we finally found a station, as we pulled up to this small generic stop in the middle of no where, we both realized we had made a stop at the same station a couple years ago on another cross country motorcycle trip to Breckinridge for some mountain riding.

Both of us layered up on that stop, as we often do with temperature changes. Preparing to climb in altitude and temperature with possibly rain.

On our way toward Gunnison while winding through the lower passes and meeting snow flurries a car coming towards us began blinking head lights to warn us, we both thought the warning was of heavy snow. But not much further there was a large group of deer on the road and on both sides. They looked at us like we were in their road. Beautiful site up so close, I laughed with pure joy. And later we also saw another large gathering of deer right beside us.

Heading toward Gunnison we road through Monarch pass with flurries of light snow and 37 degrees at the top. Not to bad, but I was ready to get back down for some warmth.

When we road into Gunnison and stopped to gas again, Al said, ‘you should go on inside and get some hot chocolate while I gas up.’ At this point it was around, 5:30pm.

We stood in side while I drank my hot chocolate with Al doing a weather watch on radar and us deciding do we stay or do we go ???? as we would be going through some tough weather with some more mountain passes getting us on down the road to Montrose our goal for the night. If we stayed it did not look any better in the morning and maybe even worse. We had originally been aiming for Grand Junction. Al ask how I felt and what I thought. And I was thinking lets get going. So we added rain gear to our layer. With under armor, jeans and rain pants and a 3 coat layer, and my throat coat added – off we went.

We made the next two passes with rain, sleet and snow coming at us and no other traffic but us traveling slowly in 37 degrees we rolled into Montrose around 8:30pm stopped at the first stop light together and Al looked over at me smiling and said, ‘I’m sorry’ and we sat there as we both just laughed. We made it.

His intercom battery had gone dead so we had been traveling through the mountain passes without communicating. I had plugged mine in and was charging it on board. We just did not consider it worth stopping for him to connect his charge.
We found some great Mexican food and then checked into the Motel 8 across the street.

Happy for a bed and warmth.

Constant wind gust beating us, rain, sleet, snow……….
We ARE both possibly hard core motorcycle adventure junkies. 🙂
Loving the journey.
And happy we share those journeys together, my buddy rider and me.

 

 

Day 1 – Here we go – Really

Friday, 5/6/2016

Yeah I am a big Fan of the animation ‘Up’. I made Al and I adventure pins years ago. So off we go mounting up and leaving ‘Happy Trails’ as we go.

We stopped in at our new local doughnut shop to begin the day and then went to see Pat W. at Circle of Life Hospice care on our way out of town through Bentonville. She was so excited and happy for us, she said, ‘you two go and leave everything behind and really enjoy your selves’. She wanted to see our bikes parked out side, so we took a picture and showed her. And we took a selfie of us all. Al prayed and we all hugged. Greg R. bless his heart, he is beside her always.

I could not resist taking a picture of her boxes of cards, our precious ‘Card Lady’ as we all know and Love her. 1000s of cards we have all received over the years, she never missed our birthday’s and anniversaries EVER.

 

Traveling the pan handle plains of Oklahoma with gust of winds most of the day got us 460 miles down the road and into Guyman, OK. for the evening. Many more miles to go.

The good news is that the scenery will soon become more beautiful as we enter into Colorado tomorrow and head towards Grand Junction area.

I am kind of gimpy and slow walking with my knee, mounting on the right side so I don’t put so much weight on my gimpy left knee. Funny though I center up my bike off the kick stand on the left and it doesn’t seem to bother it. With out our massive amount to luggage, it’s easy to pull up center, but all the added weight well… Al has to give me a shove sometimes when I park on too steep of ground. I had Dr’s orders for Physical Therapy ……and now I am thinking maybe I can just call cross country motorcycling – physical therapy and it will ALL be GOOD. 🙂